Everything You Need to Know about Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Abuse - click on this link: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/faq1.html
People-pleasers dread conflicts and wish to avoid them (they are conflict-averse) - hence their need to believe that they are universally liked. Always pleasant, well-mannered, and civil, the conflict-averse people-pleaser is also evasive and vague, hard to pin down, sometimes obsequious and, generally, a spineless ânon-entityâ. These qualities are self-defeating as they tend to antagonize people rather than please them.
But conflict-aversion is only one of several psychodynamic backgrounds for the behavior known as âpeople-pleasingâ:
1. Some people-pleasers cater to the needs and demands of others as a form of penance, or self-sacrifice;
2. Many people-pleasers are codependents and strive to gratify their nearest and dearest in order to allay their own abandonment anxiety and the ensuing intense â and, at times, life-threatening - dysphoria (âif I am nice to him, he wonât break up with meâ, âif I cater to her needs, she wonât leave meâ);
3. A few people-pleasers are narcissistic: pleasing people enhances their sense of omnipotence (grandiosity). They seek to control and disempower their âchargesâ (âshe so depends on and looks up to meâ). Even their pity is a form of self-aggrandizement (âonly I can make her life so much better, she needs me, without me her life would be hell.â). They are misanthropic altruists andcompulsive givers.
All people-pleasers use these common coping strategies:
1. Dishonesty (to avoid conflicts and unpleasant situations);
2. Manipulation (to ensure desired outcomes, such as an intimate partnerâs continued presence);
3. Fostering dependence: codependent people-pleasers leverage their ostentatious helplessness and manifest weaknesses to elicit the kind of behaviours and solicit the benefits that they angle for, while narcissistic people-pleasers aim to habituate their targets by bribing them with gifts, monopolizing their time, and isolating them socially;
4. Infantilization: displaying childish behaviours to gratify the emotional needs of over-protective, possessive, paranoid, narcissistic, and codependent individuals in the people-pleaserâs milieu;
5. Self-punishment, self-defeat, and self-sacrifice to signal self-annulment in the pursuit of people-pleasing.
(From the book "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited" by Sam Vaknin - Click on this link to purchase the print book, or 16 e-books, or 3 DVDs with 16 hours of video lectures on narcissists, psychopaths, and abuse in relationships: http://www.narcissistic-abuse.com/thebook.html)